St Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) has taken a historical step in assisting with the design of a viable energy transition strategy for the country. The power company is also getting ready to begin the process of constructing a 3.2-MW solar power plant.
On Thursday January 14, LUCELEC signed an agreement for the development of an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Government of Saint Lucia. It will make provision for a team of independent consultants from Carbon War Room (CWR), Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and DNV GL, to assist both parties in designing a viable energy transition strategy for Saint Lucia.
What this means is the team will develop a plan for how best Saint Lucia will be able to move its energy sector from where it is now to where it needs to be, to give effect to the goals and objectives of the National Energy Policy. The plan will determine how best to integrate the optimum mix of renewable energies into the national energy grid, at the least cost, without compromising the stability and reliability of the electricity system. It will determine what improvements need to be made to the electricity infrastructure (transmission and distribution systems) on the island, and how best to ensure that LUCELEC remains viable, given that the electricity system underpins Saint Lucia’s economy. The process will also allow for public input into the strategy.
In addition, LUCELEC Managing Director Trevor Louisy announced the company’s intent to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for what will be its first major renewable energy project on the ground, the construction of a 3.2-MW solar farm to be located at La Tourney in Vieux Fort. The project will form part of a power complex the company is proposing to develop.
The RFP will be circulated internationally and it is the company’s hope that within the next several weeks a successful bidder will be identified and a contractor in place by May this year. According to Mr. Louisy, the intention is to have at least one megawatt of solar power commissioned by the end of this year, and then add the remaining two megawatts subsequently.
The RFP was developed with the assistance of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon War Room and DNV GL through the Government of Saint Lucia. The signing ceremony and the announcement on the solar power plant were done in the Conference Room of the Ministry of the Public Service.